Convergence study on the effects of stress and gambling change motivation on gambling abstinence self-efficacy among college students using gambling [open-access article].

Abstract: This study was attempted to identify the convergence factors that affected the gambling abstinence self-efficacy among college students using gambling. The participants were 134 students with gambling experience at two universities in C city and G city. The results of this study are as follows. Stress(r=-.314, p<.001) and gambling change motivation(r=.272, p=.001) showed a significant correlation with gambling abstinence self-efficacy in correlation analysis. The greatest influence on gambling abstinence self-efficacy in multiple regression analysis was identified in order of stress(β=−.29β=−.29, p<.001), gambling change motivation (β=.25β=.25, p=.003). The results of this study suggest that a gambling prevention education program which can manage stress and strengthen the gambling change motivation of college students using gambling is needed to improve the gambling abstinence self-efficacy. Article available online

Citation: Jung-Hyun, C., Jeong-Suk, K., & Seong-Ui, K. (2019). Convergence study on the effects of stress and gambling change motivation on gambling abstinence self-efficacy among college students using gambling. Journal of Convergence for Information Technology, 9(6), 19-25. Retrieved from


Gambling, losses and self-esteem: An interactionist approach to the Betting Shop by Cormac McNamara [book publication].

Synopsis: This book provides new insights into contemporary betting shops, with a particular focus on the manner in which losing bets are dealt with by customers. Drawing on research undertaken in Ireland, it demonstrates that customers tend to shift responsibility for monetary losses onto factors external to themselves as part of a collective process engaged in to restore self-esteem, and considers the role played by announcements made in betting shops in creating an atmosphere of inclusion – and the implications of this for ‘problem gambling’. Through an analysis of newspaper representations of the first legally operating betting shops in Ireland, which opened in the 1920s, the author places the contemporary betting shop in historical context and examines trends in gambling across the British Isles with reference to social class and the security or precarity of work. An interactionist study not only of gambling but also of responsibility and the connection between the micro-world and social structures, this volume will appeal to sociologists with interests in symbolic interactionism and strategies of blame.

1. Introduction
2. Research Approach
3. Responsibility-Shifting – part I & part II
4. Betting and Belonging
5. The Early Days of the Irish Betting Shop – 1926-1930
6. Gambling and Work in the 21st Century
7. Concluding Remarks
Book details from publisher’s website

Book reference: McNamara, C. (2019). Gambling, losses and self-esteem: An interactionist approach to the Betting Shop. London: Routledge.

Reward reactivity and dark flow in slot-machine gambling: “Light” and “dark” routes to enjoyment [open-access article].

Background and aims: Slot machines are a very popular form of gambling. In this study, we look at two different routes to enjoying slots play. One route involves the degree to which players react to rewards. The other route involves what we call dark flow – a pleasurable, but maladaptive state where players become completely engrossed in slots play, providing an escape from the depressing thoughts that characterize their everyday lives.

Methods: One hundred and twenty-nine high-frequency slots players were tested on slot-machine simulators set up in the lobby of a casino. We measured reward reactivity using post-reinforcement pauses (PRPs) and the force with which players pressed the spin button following different slot-machine outcomes. For each player, we calculated the slopes of PRPs and force as a function of credit gains. We also assessed players’ slots game enjoyment and their experience of dark flow, depression, and problem gambling.

Results: Both the PRP and the force measures of reward reactivity were significantly correlated with players’ enjoyment of the slots session, but neither measure was correlated with either problem gambling or depression. Ratings of dark flow were strongly correlated with slots enjoyment (which accounted for far more positive affect variance than the reward reactivity measures) and were correlated with both problem gambling scores and depression.

Discussion and conclusions: Our results suggest that of these two routes to enjoying slot-machine play, the dark flow route is especially problematic. We contend that the dark flow state may be enjoyable because it provides escape from the negative thoughts linked to depressionArticle available online

Citation: Dixon, M.J., Gutierrez, J., Larche, C.J., Stange, M., Graydon, C., Kruger, T.B., & Smith, S.D. (2019). Reward reactivity and dark flow in slot-machine gambling: “Light” and “dark” routes to enjoyment. Journal of Behavioral Addictions. doi: 10.1556/2006.8.2019.38

A content analysis of gambling operators’ twitter accounts at the start of the English Premier League football season [open-access article].

The use of social media is now an established strategy to engage and maintain customer loyalty. The purpose of the present study was to examine the Twitter accounts of ten of the largest online sports betting operators in the UK to determine what marketing strategies were employed. More specifically, this study analyzed 3375 tweets posted by the operators during the opening weekend of the 2018–2019 English Premier League football season using a content analysis methodology. The results demonstrated that multiple strategies, including hashtags, were used to link gambling operator tweets with major sporting events, and the use of numerous promotional campaigns. Notably, over 90% of the tweets contained no responsible gambling information. The quantity and content of social media posts underline the need for a review of the current advertising regulations in the UK. Further research should examine how exposure to sports betting social media marketing influences gambling behavior. Article available online

Citation: Killick, E.A., & Griffiths, M.D. (2019). A content analysis of gambling operators’ twitter accounts at the start of the English Premier League football season. Journal of Gambling Studies.

Public health effects of gambling – debate on a conceptual model [open-access article].

Background: Gambling for money is a popular leisure time activity in most countries, which has major social and economic impacts not only affecting the gambler, but his/her significant others, and the society. Gambling impact studies can help researchers and policymakers compare the health and social costs and benefits of different gambling policies and can be used when considering which gambling policies will reduce or increase costs or benefits the most. In a public health approach, the impacts of gambling, negative and positive, are assessed across the entire severity spectrum of the activity. Although some studies have created basic principles for conducting impact studies, a theoretical model is currently lacking. The aim of this debate is to review complementing and contrasting views on the effects of gambling to create a conceptual model, where a public health perspective is applied.

Main text: The effects of gambling can be structuralized using a conceptual model, where impacts are divided into negative and positive; costs and benefits. Costs and benefits are categorized into three classes: financial, labor and health, and well-being. These classes manifest in personal, interpersonal, and societal levels. Individual impacts cause effects on a personal level to gamblers themselves. External impacts influence the interpersonal and society/community levels and concern other people. The temporal level refers to the development, severity and scope of the gambling impact. These include general impacts, impacts of problem gambling and long-term impacts of gambling.

Conclusions: The conceptual model offers a base on which to start building common methodology for assessing the impact of gambling on the society. While measuring monetary impacts is not always straightforward, the main issue is how to measure the social impacts, which are typically ignored in calculations, as are personal and interpersonal impacts. The reviewed empirical work largely concentrated on the costs of gambling, especially costs on the community level. The Model can be used to identify areas where research is scarce. Filling the gaps in knowledge is essential in forming a balanced evidence base on the impacts of gambling. Ideally, this evidence could be the starting point in formulating public policies on gambling. Article available online

Citation: Tiina Latvala, T., Lintonen, T., & Konu, A. (2019). Public health effects of gambling – debate on a conceptual model. BMC Public Health, 19(1077). doi:

Win-concurrent sensory cues can promote riskier choice [open-access article].

Reward-related stimuli can potently influence behavior; for example, exposure to drug-paired cues can trigger drug use and relapse in people with addictions. Psychological mechanisms that generate such outcomes likely include cue-induced cravings and attentional biases. Recent animal data suggest another candidate mechanism: reward-paired cues can enhance risky decision making, yet whether this translates to humans is unknown. Here, we examined whether sensory reward-paired cues alter decision making under uncertainty and risk, as measured respectively by the Iowa Gambling Task and a two-choice lottery task. In the cued versions of both tasks, gain feedback was augmented with reward-concurrent audiovisual stimuli. Healthy human volunteers (53 males, 78 females) performed each task once, one with and the other without cues (cued Iowa Gambling Task/uncued Vancouver Gambling Task: n 63; uncued Iowa Gambling Task/cued Vancouver Gambling Task: n 68), with concurrent eye-tracking. Reward-paired cues did not affect choice on the Iowa Gambling Task. On the two-choice lottery task, the cued group displayed riskier choice and reduced sensitivity to probability information. The cued condition was associated with reduced eye fixations on probability information shown on the screen and greater pupil dilation related to decision and reward anticipation. This pupil effect was unrelated to the risk-promoting effects of cues: the degree of pupil dilation for risky versus risk-averse choices did not differ as a function of cues. Together, our data show that sensory reward cues can promote riskier decisions and have additional and distinct effects on arousal. Article available online

Citation: Cherkasova, M.V., Clark, L., Barton, J.S., Schulzer, M., Shafiee, M., Kingstone, A., Stoessl, A.J., & Winstanley, C.A. (2018). Win-concurrent sensory cues can promote riskier choice. Journal of Neuroscience, 38(48), 10362-10370. DOI:10.1523/JNEUROSCI.1171-18.2018

The nature of gambling-related harm for adults with health and social care needs: an exploratory study of the views of key informants [open-access article].

Aim: To explore the views of professionals working within health, care and other agencies about harmful gambling among adults with health and social care needs.
Background: Gambling is increasingly seen as a public health rather than an individual problem. Opportunities to gamble have grown in England in the last decade since the liberalisation of the gambling industry meaning that gambling is widely available, accessible and advertised within society. An estimated two million people in the UK are at risk of developing a gambling problem, some of whom may be adults with health and social care needs.
Methods: Twenty-three key informants from primary care, social care services and third sector organisations in England were interviewed about their understanding of the risks to adults with health and social care needs from gambling participation.
Findings: Thematic analysis revealed four themes: (1) gambling-related harm as a public health problem; (2) identification of groups of adults with health and social care needs who may be vulnerable to gambling-related harm; (3) factors potentially impeding the identification of gambling-related harm among adults with health and social care needs and subsequent helpseeking behaviour and (4) calls for professional development activities. Informants reported a perceived lack of awareness of gambling-related harm and a lack of a clear pathway or guidance which they could follow when supporting individuals experiencing gambling-related harm. Interviewees called for professional development activities to improve their knowledge and expertise in this area. Article available online

Reference: Bramley, S., Norrie, C., & Manthorpe, J. (2019) The nature of gambling related harm for adults with health and social care needs: an exploratory study of the views of key informants. Primary Health Care Research & Development 20(e115): 1–7. doi: 10.1017/ S1463423619000549